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4.2 SOURCES OF CURRICULUM DESIGN Definition of Curriculum Design

According to Taba (1962),' Curriculum design is a statement which identifies the elements of the curriculum, states what their relationships are to each other, and indicates the principles of organization and the requirements of that organization for the administrative conditions under which it is to operate. A design, of course, needs to be supported with and to make explicit a curriculum theory which establishes the sources to consider and the principles to apply.'

In simple terms, curriculum design refers to the ways in which the curriculum component is put together. Curriculum design can also be understood as the architecture of a course study that integrates a philosophy of learning and teaching, Curriculum design is the architecture of a course of study that embodies a philosophy of learning and teaching, articulates a clear set of desired learning outcomes and describes how the planned learning environment will support the student to achieve those learning outcomes.

Courses are organized in an arrangement of units, which may incorporate required, sequenced and optional elements. Curriculum design is an integral part the educational system focusing on creating curricula for students.

4.2.1 Attributes of Curriculum Design

Curriculum design is an aspect of the education profession that focuses on developing curricula for students. Curricula designing is similar to designing any object, method or system in vital respects. On this basis, it is said to have the following attributes:

(i) Curriculum design is focused and purposeful: The main function of curriculum design is not limited to creating a study course. Curriculum design also involves the development of student learning.

Besides this, it also serves other purposes which differ in nature. They may be explicit or implied, instantaneous or long range, political or technical, etc. irrespective of their nature or whether they are in agreement or disagreement, the curriculum designers main aim to make the curriculum as clear as possible.

(ii) Curriculum design is intentional: For any curriculum design to be effective, planning is the key.

Designing cannot be accounted in terms of the diverse changes that have been brought over a period of time. Designing a curriculum involves an explicit process that includes what will be done, by whom and when.

(iii) Curriculum design is creative phenomena: There is no set procedure that is followed to design a curriculum. Curriculum designing includes new ideas and fresh concepts at every stage of curriculum design. Good curriculum design is systematic and creative.

(iv) Curriculum design operatives on many levels: It very imperative that decisions taken at a certain level are in tandem with decisions taken at other levels. For instance, a curriculum design created for middle school is mismatched with elementary and high school designs will result in a defective K-12 curriculum irrespective of the fact that each part individually is prepared excellently. Similarly,

a middle school curriculum cannot be effective on its own unless the designs of its grades are in accordance to it.

(v) Curriculum design requires some adjustments and compromises: The

aim of curriculum design is not to reach the perfection but the challenge is to come up with a curriculum that functions well. While creating a design that meets multifaceted specifications, trade-offs inevitably have to be made keeping in mind the benefits, costs, constraints and risks. No matter how systematic or inventive the planning is, curriculum designs may not turn out the way that everyone would want.

(vi) Curriculum designs can fail: There may be numerous ways in which curriculum designs may fail to operate successfully. A design may end in failure if one or more components of the curriculum design do not function as desired or if the components do not work well together. On many occasions, people who are required to follow the curriculum may not understand the design.

This misunderstanding may lead to the rejection of the design. Curriculum designs are neither wholly satisfactory nor abject failures. Indeed, a key element in curriculum design is to provide for continuous correction and improvement, even during the design process and also afterwards.

4.2.2 Four Stages of Curriculum Design

Curriculum design is a methodical way of going about planning instruction, even though there is no hard and fast rule to follow some inflexible set of steps. Curriculum decisions that are made at one stage necessarily do not depend on decisions made at other stages, and that the curriculum-design process tends to be iterative, so it is always likely that different stages being crossed can return for reassessment and possible amendment. But recognizing the different tasks and problems at each stage is important in making the process work. The stages are:

1. Establishing curriculum-design specifications (i.e. we should know the motive of initiating instruction or aims)

2. Conceptualizing a curriculum design (It should be clear what content or subject matter is to be taught to realize our set aims and objectives)

3. Developing a curriculum design (The way of communicating target learning experiences i.e.

pedagogy, instruction)

4. Refining a curriculum design (What has been realized and what measures are taken accordingly in relation to the instructional program, learners, and teachers (evaluation).

Most of the curriculum designs comprise these four components but they may significantly differ in how they address these elements due to different curriculum philosophy and model on which a design is based.

4.2.3 Different Sources of Curriculum Design

• Knowledge

• Learner

• Science

• Society

• External and divine sources Knowledge as a Source

• It is one of the prime sources of curriculum

• There are two kind of kno wledge-

o Disciplined knowledge that has a particular constitution, structure and a particular method which can be used to extend its boundaries

o Undisciplined knowledge does not have exclusive content but pulls from many sources

For example, Physics has a conceptual structure but home economics is undisciplined in nature which means that its content is not unique to itself but is drawn from a variety of other disciplines and tailored for a special focus

Learner as a Source

• The progressive and flexible curricularists, humanistic educators, and those engaged in postmodern dialogue consider the learner to be the primary source of curriculum design.

• The source of curriculum origin is from what we know about the learner and emphasis is on 'learningby doing.'

• This basis is focused on the societal foundation and restoration of knowledge and the empowerment of individuals to be engaged in these processes.

Science as source

• The scientific method provides meaning for the curriculum design. The curricula emphasizes on scientific procedures.

• This design stresses on learning that focuses on how to learn or 'think'.

• Only those items that can be observed and quantified should be included.

• Problem solving should have the prime position in the curriculum.

• This view coincides with the scientific and rational world of Western culture.

Society as source

• The institutions and schools are the agents of society thus the curriculum taught in schools provide the idea that in turn is drawn from the analysis of the social situations.

• Serves the broad social interests of society as well as the local community.

• Society shows where to modify the curriculum.

• The challenge is how to address the unique needs of students and demands of diverse social groups and still allow students to gain understanding of the common culture, as well as common, agreed on competencies to engage productively in society.

External and Divine Sources

• Curriculum design should be intended to perpetuate society.

• It should pass on the significance of values and personal morality.

• Includes divine will, eternal truth from religious documents.

• Has little influence in public schools primarily due to the mandated separation of religious institutions and state. However, to many private and parochial schools, this source of curriculum is still valid and has a major influence.

CHECK YOUR PROGRESS 1. Name the different sources of curriculum designs.

2. How does curriculum design operate on different levels?